Tuesday, December 31, 2002

La Methode D'Ukulele is an instructional ukulele book written in French. Inlcudes songs by Robert Crumb and Robert Armstrong and comes with a CD. Looks great. If you have a copy, please let everyone here know what you think of it by posting your review in the discussion link.Link Discuss (Thanks, Gary!)

Monday, December 30, 2002

Forty-six ukulele e-cards for your sending pleasure. Link Discuss (Thanks, Gary!)

Monday, December 23, 2002

So sad to learn that Joe Strummer died today. He was one of my heroes. And I just learned that he played the uke!

He had immersed himself in music since childhood, and his own musical career began when he started busking with a ukulele at Green Park tube station.

Link Discuss (Thanks, Gary!)

Thursday, December 12, 2002

Site about Don Blanding: Vagabond Poet, Vernon Kilns Designer, Vernonware, Hawaiian Music Composer, and Aloha Shirt Designer, among other things. Whatta guy. Link Discuss(Thanks, Gary!)
Wonderful archive of old Hawaiian sheet music. Link Discuss (Thanks, Gary!)

Monday, December 02, 2002

Short sound clip of "Yodeling Katy" serenading a cross country bicyclist. Link Discuss (Thanks, Scott!)
Tom Petty says Harrison gave him the gift of ukulele fever.

Petty tells LAUNCH that he credits Harrison with introducing him to the ukulele while they were making the first Traveling Wilburys album. "Yeah, he taught me to play and gave me a ukulele years ago. And, of course, we were close friends for a lot of years, and we did a lot of ukulele playing. It was kinda fun. They're really fun little things, which I, I never would've known if it weren't for George. I'm still grateful that he taught me how to play it, he says.
Link Discuss(Thanks, Steve!)

Tuesday, November 05, 2002

Edwin Mulitalo of the Baltimore Ravens is a uker!

''We recently lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers, but today I feel like a winner. When I was young, music was a big part of my life. My father played the trumpet, I played the trombone. I play the Ukulele now, but every time I play the ukulele it makes me happy. When I look at the young children, I see that music makes them happy,'' said Edwin Mulitalo of the Baltimore Ravens.

Link Discuss (Thanks, Gary!)

Tuesday, October 22, 2002

Nice article about the Wasser collection, one of the world's largest ukulele collections.

The collection includes ukuleles made from cigar boxes and coconut shells. There are ukes painted with tropical landscapes, ukes made by high-end guitar makers like National and Martin, and “banjo ukes,” constructed and played like a banjo. There are even a few made by Manuel Nunes, the first master ukulele maker.

Link Discuss (Thanks, Gary!)

Monday, October 07, 2002

Southern California ukers: Don't miss the first SoCal Uke Festival on October 19, in Cerritos! Link Discuss

Thursday, October 03, 2002

Wednesday, October 02, 2002

The LA Times ran a semi-clueless story about ukuleles on Monday's front page. There's a few interesting tidbits in here, but it was clearly written by someone who just doesn't get it. Link Discuss
Alan Bond's Ukecat Ukulele Museum is a photo gallery of ukes and people playing ukes. Also, some kind of uke chord manual. Link Discuss

Thursday, September 19, 2002

Friday, September 13, 2002

An elementary schoolteacher "swears ukuleles are key to improving student achievement."
For 15 consecutive years, she says she has witnessed an unmistakable connection between her second-graders' ability to master the instrument and their ability to master their schoolwork. "When I start doing my ukulele unit in January, my [students'] math and reading scores start jumping up -- every doggone time," she said. "It's like clockwork. That's why I know it works."

Link Discuss (Thanks, Gary!)

Tuesday, September 10, 2002

Here's a nice review of the debut issue of The Ukulele Occasional in the San Francisco Examiner.

Uke fans will eat it up. During the past decade or so, the small four-string guitar has attracted a large number of serious musicians but also a lot of people who like the instrument because it seems less daunting (and more portable) than the six-string guitar. Like most musical-instrument fans, uke players seem to love arcana. And they relish the novelty aspects of ukedom, although some say they could do without the kitsch. Whatever. The Occasional feeds these passions.

Link Discuss

Thursday, September 05, 2002

A uke extravaganze called Ukelooza will be at the Re-Bar in Seattle at 1114 Howell St. on Monday, September 9th. Doors open at 7 pm. Link (Thanks, Gary!)

Saturday, August 31, 2002

The first issue of the highly-anticipated Ukulele Occasional is out, and it's every bit as wonderful as I hoped it would be. There are some great articles in there about ukuleles and ukulele players, both old and new. It looks more like a high quality paperback book than a magazine. Overall, a wonderful job. Congrats to the publisher, Jason Verlinde! Link

Thursday, August 01, 2002

Tiki King will be performing live on KSCO radio, 1080 AM on Friday, Aug. 2nd, at 1:00 pm pst in the Santa Cruz /Monterey Area, and streaming live on the Web at http://www.ksco.com. The show is called Cafe KSCO.Discuss

Monday, July 15, 2002

These young guys claim to have built a uke-playing robot out of Lego blocks. Link

Thursday, July 11, 2002

A report from the first annual San Antonio Ukulele Fetival.
Uke players tend to be collectors, too. They see a certain uke, and develop a need for it. In truth, how many ukes do you need? I have a friend who has a beautiful hand-carved uke with a pineapple carved in the back. Wonderful sound. (Yes, someday you WILL be mine! YES you will!) So I head over to his house the other day, and what's he playing? A cheap $15 uke someone had painted with blue latex paint and glued Hawaiian flower stickers all over. Go figure, huh?

Link Discuss (Thanks, Matt!)

Monday, July 08, 2002

The premiere issue of The Ukulele Occasional is about to hit newsstands, and the table of contents, posted here, are totally mouth-watering. I know everything in my life is going to come to a screetching halt the second I get my hands on a copy. Link Discuss

Wednesday, July 03, 2002

I only know three things about banjo ukuleles: 1) they're tuned like a regular uke, 2) they sound really great, 3) they're damn heavy. Here's a site dedicated to banjo ukes and George Formby, the late British musician most closely associated with banjo ukes. href="http://www.banjoukulele.co.uk/">Link Discuss

Wednesday, June 26, 2002

UKULELE BOOGALOO! is a kid friendly uke site with popular uke song tablatures and links to other uke site. Very cool art! Link

Tuesday, June 25, 2002

Friday, June 07, 2002

Here's the latest news about the forthcoming documentary, Rock that Uke Link Discuss

Wednesday, June 05, 2002

Article about Hawaiian uke culture from Honolulu Weekly Link Discuss (Thanks, Gary!)

Monday, May 27, 2002

Tuesday, May 21, 2002

Here's another weird uke -- the Lucky Lindy Aerouke! Link Discuss (Thanks, Michael)
Check out this exceedingly strange "Double Bass Uke" from 1927. Link Discuss (Thanks, Michael Simmons!)

Wednesday, May 08, 2002

Here's your chance to learn ukulele from Ohta San himself! The following was sent to me by Mark Nelson (marklnelson@earthlink.net), who runs the Aloha Music Camp

`Ukulele virtouso Herb Ohta, Jr., son of legendary Ohta-san, has joined the
staff teaching at the 2002 Aloha Music Camp ( August 12 -18) in Puna,

A very limited number of openings remain as of this date - don't miss this
opportunity to study with one of the finest contempory players on the scene.

More than a workshop, the Beamer Family Aloha Music Camp with Hawaii's
first family of Music immerses you in the true essense of Hawaiian culture.

Our staff includes:

Keola Beamer - slack key guitar

Nona Beamer - Hawaiian culture and storytelling

Moanalani Beamer - hula

Keoki Kahumoku - `ukulele, slack key guitar

Herb Ohta Jr. - `ukulele

Leilehua Yuen - traditional Hawaiian crafts, and many more.

Link Discuss

Tuesday, May 07, 2002

Friday, April 12, 2002

Tiki King on the Radio! KBOO FM - Portland's Uncorporate Community Radio - Presents:
The Tiki Cha Cha Club, this week is "the greatest show on earth" as well as songs from the new Tiki King CD, "With a Twist." On the Air and Webcasting Live Monday Night, April 15th, 11pm USA Pacific Coast Time (7am-London; 10am-Moscow; 9am-Jerusalem; 7pm-Hong Kong; 9pm-Honolulu) on: http://www.kboo.org In the north west, KBOO FM can be heard on the airwaves at 90.7 in the Portland area, 92.7 in Columbia Gorge, and at 100.7 in Corvallis. Discuss

Tuesday, April 09, 2002

Great article from the Honolulu Advertiser about Myrtle K. Hilo, the "Singing Taxi Driver." (You can buy Myrtle's CD and listen to some song samples here.) Link Discuss (Thanks, Gary!)
Meet Boo Takagi, Japan's ukulele sweetheart. Link Discuss (Thanks, Gary!)
Ukulele news from Japan: "People may seek out the relaxing sounds of ukuleles when society is beset with news of high jobless rates and the rise in corporate failures." Link Discuss (Thanks\, Gary!)
Here's a reproduction of Roy Smeck's ukulele. Love those seal sound holes! Link Discuss (Thanks, Gary!)

Wednesday, April 03, 2002

Paul McCartney played the uke in tribute to George Harrison at a recent concert.
"George [Harrison] was a great ukulele player and whenever you went to his house, he'd play it at the end of the night. I showed him I could play the song on the ukulele and tonight I'd like to do it now as my tribute."
Discuss (Thanks, Gary!)

Sunday, March 31, 2002

Megosteve sez: "Recent shark attack victim Hoku Aki, who lost his foot in a struggle with a tiger shark at Brennecke Beach in Kauai, says he plans to stay out of the water and devote more time to his music. The article mentions that he is a ukelele player and he's pictured lying in his hospital bed holding one." Link Discuss

Friday, March 29, 2002

Pekelo is a ukulele instructor from Seatlle with a very nice web site. Link Discuss

Wednesday, March 27, 2002

Don Ho Shocks Music World By Recording `Shock The Monkey Link Discuss (Thanks, Steve!)
Ukes go high-tech ih Hawaii.
For example, at Aiea Intermediate School, the 12 teachers chose a TTP project that addressed the Hawaiian ukulele.  The shop teacher taught students how to create the ukulele in AutoCAD using 3D techniques, and then to construct one using actual shop tools.  The English teacher taught how to write project materials, including procedures and reports.  The math teacher taught students how to calculate the correct material thicknesses, angles, and similar physical features.  The music teacher taught them how to play the ukulele.  The art teacher taught students to create marketing materials and illustration manuals.  And the history and geography teachers taught the historical significance of the ukulele around the Pacific Basin and in Asia.

Link Discuss (Thanks, Gary!)

Friday, March 22, 2002

The Ukulele Guild of Hawaii is a non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement and sharing of ukulele making techniques and information. Link Discuss

Wednesday, March 20, 2002

Do you eat it or play it? The Ipulele, only $875! Link Discuss (Thanks, Gary!)

Wednesday, March 13, 2002

Thursday, March 07, 2002

Bill Robertson the fellow who is making the documentary, Rock That Uke, wrote to tell me that he's "posted a new update on the Rock That
website, including exciting details about our 'uke cam,' which I'm
certain will put us in the running for an Oscar in cinematic technical
achievement when we're done." I sure it will, Bill!Link Discuss

Wednesday, March 06, 2002

John Pinamonti wrote a great introductory article to the uke for Smokebox.net. And he kindly mentioned Ukulelia, too! Link Discuss

Friday, March 01, 2002

Here's a TV news story about Cliff Edwards. Watch it today, before it disappears! (After clinking on the link below, click on 6:00 news, then select Thursday, and fast forward to 10:00 minutes into the show.) Link Discuss

Tuesday, February 26, 2002

Great news: Jason Verlinde, Amazon.com's jazz and classical music editor, is starting an annual ukulele magazine, called The Ukulele Occasional. This is something I've been dreaming about for a while. I would have started a uke magazine myself, but I want to concentrate on my illustrating this year (in addition to learning to play the uke better!). Anyway, here's the website for the magazine. It'll be out this summer, and I'm going to write an article for it! Link Discuss

Wednesday, February 20, 2002

Casey P.'s Russian-sounding uke song in MP3 format. Very nice stuff! Link Discuss

Monday, February 18, 2002

Thursday, February 14, 2002

Ukulele postcards from Japan for sale. I love the English translation. ("Though very selfish, I will consider as sale of a "eight-sheet set." )
Link Discuss
Nice article from the Stamford Advocate about Jim and Liz Beloff's exhibition called "Ukulele Fever: The Craze that Swept America" which opened at the Stamford Museum in Connecticut in early February/ Link Discuss
Photo of the Pat Batinelli Family Ukesters at the opening of the Uke Fever exhibition. Link Discuss
Photo of Flea Market Music proprietor Jim Beloff at the opening of the Uke Fever exhibition in Stamford, CT. Link Discuss
Time to get jealous: Here's a gallery of photo's of Casey P.'s music room. See if you can spot the ukes! Link Discuss

Wednesday, February 13, 2002

Here are a couple of cool uke tunes recorded by Casey P. The first one is Spanish-y, the second one reminds me of some kind of eastern European song. Discuss

Monday, February 11, 2002

The band Uke Til u Puke has a great punk version of Tiptoe Thru The Tulips on their site. Link Discuss (Thanks, Gary!)
Uke musician Oliver Brown's web site. Link Discuss (Thanks, Gary!)
Steve Martin and Bernadette Peters sing "Tonight You Belong to Me," with Lyle Ritz providing the uke playing. Link Discuss (Thanks, Gary!
Tom Petty on George Harrison.
He really got into the ukulele. It sounds kind of corny, but it gave him so much joy, you know. I was there when he first discovered it. The rest of his life was ukulele. He played the hell out of the thing. When my kids were little, we could clear rooms with those things, because they knew George was going to carry on till daylight with the ukulele.
Link Discuss (Thanks, Gary! -- maybe I should just make a note when a link *doesn't* come from Gary! *;)
Article about Warren Buffett and his uke playing. Link Discuss (Thanks, Gary!)
Here's a picture of billionare Warren Buffett strumming his beloved ukulele. Link Discuss (Thanks, Gary!)
Nice collection of uke MP3s recorded by Rusty. Link Discuss (Thanks, Gary!)
Website for The Rhonda Ukulele Experience. With MP3s. Link Discuss (Thanks, Gary!)
Ian Whitcomb's latest "Letter from Lotusland" makes mention of the article I wrote about him for the LA Weekly (see below). Link Discuss (Thanks, Gary!)

Thursday, February 07, 2002

Tiki King sent me some neat stuff that he sells on his site: a UKE sticker and a groovy tiki pendent with a ukulele on it. High quality stuff! Thanks TK!Link Discuss

Monday, February 04, 2002

Fellow uke player Tiki King is selling Tee Shirts. Check 'em out! Link Discuss
Ukers in the CT area should head to the Stamford Museum and Nature Center, which is having a ukulele exhbition with live performances. It's being curated by Jumpin' Jim Beloff and Leapin' Liz Beloff of Flea Market Music fame. I wish I was there! Link Discuss (Thanks, Gary!)

Thursday, January 31, 2002

I profiled ex-British Invasion popstar Ian Whitcomb for the LA Weekly. The title is "Me and Ukie Against the World." Link Discuss
Another home ukulele recording! This one, by Casey P., has an interesting Indian-esque sound to it. (Everyone, please keep sending me the URL's to your songs, I'll make a special section of ukuelia recording artists!) Link Discuss

Wednesday, January 30, 2002

Tuesday, January 29, 2002

Gary Peare found another turn-of-the-century sheet music archive. This one is from the New York Public Library. Search it using "ukulele." Link Discuss
Penn Manuscripts has a scan of the sheet music for My Gal Sal, with uke arrangements by May Singhi Breen. Link Discuss (Thanks, Gary!)
NALU Music is devoted to publications about the early history of the ukulele in Hawaii and recordings of classic and traditional music for the ukulele. Link Discuss (Thanks, Gary!)

Monday, January 28, 2002

Thursday, January 24, 2002

Dave Stewart is a 78 record collector fanatic, and he's transferred 188 Hawaiian songs from 1925-1938 onto a single MP3 CD, called "Waikiki is Good Enough for Me." Over nine hours of music for $20! If you like old timey, tin pan alley, steel guitar, ukulele, hot jazz music, you've got to get it. Link Discuss
Great sheet music archive. If you search, use 1923 as the end date. That way you'l get actual images of the music. (Dates after that are not in the public domain, thanks to Sonny Bono's dumb copyright extension law). Link Discuss (Thanks, Gary!)

Wednesday, January 23, 2002

Here's a nice email I got today. Check out Dave's excellent songs. I hope more DIY ukers email me to let me know about their recordings. I'll post them here.
Hi Mark,

My name is Dave Lasher, and I am a regular visitor to your site,Ukulelia. I caught the uke bug last Spring when I took a business trip to Hawaii. I purchased a cheap Hilo and began leaning to play. It broke on me two months later, but by then I was hopelessly hooked. I saved up and bought a cow-colored, tenor, Fluke with undersaddle pickup from Flea Market Music. This uke has become as important to me as my right arm. I just love it. I practice uke much more than I ever practiced guitar because it is just so damn convenient. It's sitting on my computer table, not more than 12 inches away, as I type these words. And, of course, it's the perfect size for playing while riding shotgun on a long road trip. Try that with a big clunky guitar!

Anyway, the reason I'm writing is to let you know that I have recorded my first original uke tunes and that they are available for free download on the net. I thought you and your readers might be interested in having a listen. The songs are, "Suzie's Stayin' Over" and "That Fat, Brown-Nosing, Bastard". You can hear them here: http://www.mp3.com/davelasher Enjoy!

Dave Lasher

P.S. You are doing a great job with Ukulelia!
Link Discuss

Tuesday, January 22, 2002

Friday, January 18, 2002

Japanese website with pictures of unusual ukuleles. Link Discuss (Thanks, Gary!)

Wednesday, January 16, 2002

Good article about ukuleles in Hawaii from August 2001 issue of Hawaiian Airlines magazine. Link Discuss (Thanks, Gary!)

Monday, January 14, 2002

I drew this picture of a ukulele-player and turned it into an iron-on. You can bid on it on eBay.Link Discuss

Wednesday, January 09, 2002

Is it a uke or a mandolin? It's both! (and it is excellent as a desert topping and floor wax, too!) Link Discuss (Thanks, Gary Peare!)
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